Republicans Said to Back Bachus for Financial Services Panel

U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus has received an endorsement from a key group of Republicans in his bid to become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee when his party takes power next month, according to two House aides briefed on the matter.

Bachus the Alabama lawmaker who has been the panel’s top minority member since 2007, was selected to become chairman by the Republican Steering Committee in a closed-door vote today, said the aides who declined to be identified because the decision isn’t public. Selections by the committee -- made up of House leaders, incoming committee chairmen and members representing different parts of the country -- are traditionally accepted by the full Republican conference, which is scheduled to vote tomorrow.

Representative Ed Royce of California mounted a challenge to Bachus’s bid to lead the committee that oversees Wall Street, citing his own leadership in efforts to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before losses linked to subprime mortgages forced the government-backed firms into U.S. conservatorship. Royce and Bachus made presentations to the steering panel last week.

The new Republican chairman will replace Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who led the committee during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Frank spearheaded House work on the $700 billion bank bailout in 2008, the law that allowed the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and, in July, the passage of the financial- regulation overhaul named.

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